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Best Collection Dedicated to a Fashion Curmudgeon Denver 2001 - Historic Costume and Textile Collection

Richard Blackwell is best known for the acerbic eye he turns on the fashion faux pas of the rich and famous, a public service that culminates in Mr. Blackwell's ten-best-dressed and ten-worst-dressed lists released every January. (This year's worst of the worst: Britney Spears.) But CSU knows a different Blackwell -- the man who came out to teach design students for a week, the man who has donated a vast collection of sketchbooks, master patterns and original designs to CSU's 10,000-item Historic Costume and Textile Collection. The first Blackwell items were donated to the school by the Jenkins family, which owned a fashionable store in Cherry Creek; later, Blackwell himself started supporting the school. "It's the most frustrating thing in the world that people only know him by his lists," says collection curator Linda Carlson, who knows the designer well enough to call him Mr. B. "They don't recognize the fact that he was an extremely prominent designer, probably the most pre-eminent designer out of California from the '60s to the '80s." The collection is open to the public for research, and parts are sometimes included in gallery shows put on by the department. You're looking good in Fort Collins, Mr. B.

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